“Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, tells him inwardly at the right moment: Do this; shun that. For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. His dignity lies in observing this law, and by it he will be judged.” For each human person, our conscience — the core of our being — can be a place where we are “alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths” (16). Gaudium et Spes
When the soul is being convicted by the Holy Spirit, and each and every soul on earth will be, it is very helpful to the soul to simply plead guilty and throw ourselves on the Mercy of our Lord. That does not mean we go back to our sinful old selves but we must come to understand that our Lord has given us a grace to pull closer to Him and now is the best time to do so! The close a soul becomes to God in this exile, the more painful it becomes until the gift of understanding has blossomed. We are all guilty. When our guilt becomes overwhelming, we find ourselves much in the same state as St. Augustine of Hippo once was, rolling arround in our own sinful muck and filth, rather than simply seeking an area to climb out of it and clean ourselves off in through the Mercy of our Lord. His mercy is there for the soul to take advantage of and unless you accept it, there is no moving forward. The soul needs to seek a point in life to say, enough is enough and allow our Lord to love us to the fullest without our own “Ideas” of our sinful state standing in His way to do so.
Scrupulosity – in religious terminology, it can be defined as an uneasy and persistent concern that things might be sinful when in fact they are not.
Scrupulosity can also be a deep examination of conscious gone overboard.
For the scrupulous soul, life in exile can be considered personal hell. It is fighting and agonizing. But we need to remember, it is anything but hell. It is however, a purgatory in which the soul CAN and SHOULD fully take advantage of, to grow in humility, hope and love. In exile we are given by the Holy Spirit, consolations which bring joy to the soul, in which we must use in a way that HOPE grows. “Joy is a net of love by which we catch souls.” When given the consolations, if only for a second, they bring the soul closer to our Lord. In most cases, the soul returns to the state of inner hell not by over thinking, but by a trigger to the conscious by the subconscious of a former sin that may have been committed, most times by the actions of others. The soul forgets the words from its last confession “I absolve you of these sins and ALL your sins”. It’s not a “BAD thing” to place ones soul at a higher degree of obedience to God the that of our neighbors. Doing so, is exactly as our Lord did, BUT “Who is like God”? There is a danger that exists where the soul can be tempted to believe it is better than He. When we hold ourselves at a higher standard than our neighbor, we are completely admitting, I am sinful and need to keep myself in check, not by overlooking our neighbors sins, but rather admitting, I too am sinful. The key here is to not believe for a second that the standard to which we hold ourselves to, can ever be higher than that of Mama Mary. She was the only soul created “Full of Grace”. When we see our sinful neighbors in the light of Christ we need to understand first and foremost, I too have committed THAT sin in which they are guilty of. By doing so, we no longer see the speck in our neighbors eye. We just continue to pray for them, and us, with open eyes, not to fall back into the pit that we once were in, where nothing was visible. The soul in the state of scrupulously still suffers a “blindness” in regards to what is Right and Just, but also what is just how God created us as individually different. Overcoming it means to completely be detached from every object, every idea of our own and every ounce of self-righteousness action but understand every object can be used to pull souls closer to God as God is the creator of everything good.
We also have to understand the devil is real and WANTS to keep the soul in this state. Never give him a thing. Take His words to heart: “So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.” Give him nothing! Do not curse the darkness, but laugh at it. Everything belongs to God. All power is Gods and His alone. When the devil tries to make you think he is triggering and in control of all the events of your life, laugh at him, as we KNOW only God is powerful and the keeper of all souls and power over us. When the soul is in this state, it is as if it is being slowly sanded down over time, allowing the evil thoughts to take over. To the soul in this state, everything begins to become hopeless. I offer you this: EVERYTHING that happens to the soul in this life, is due to God’s will. All suffering we endure, endure it for our Lord. Even If your soul is as black as coal, which most of us are, take into account that every diamond, was once carbon, “Behold, I make all things new.” Rev 21:5. In order for the diamond to be created, much pressure is needed for the state of the carbon to change into the beautiful gem. Does the pressure stop until it is created? No. Because it is not finished becoming what it was intended to be. This is where fortitude comes into play. You KNOW that everything your soul is going through, can not be stopped simply by saying, I quit. Falling back into the sinful state of living is not an option. BUT understanding you are NOT perfect and never will be complete until you are in our Lord arms allows the soul to take baby steps back to our Lord and the mercy He wants to share with you. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
In every scrupulous soul is a warrior for Christ battling the demons that fear Him. Take courage! Give in to our Lords mercy and grow in humility. Do not let your inner pride and vainglory of believing your not good enough ever take an inch of the soul our Lord created to be His love and His alone as you are feeding the demon in which our God commanded to eat dust and dust alone. Courage! Its okay to be fearful, but overcoming the fear and doing Gods will, is what we are called to do. Each and every one of us.
“God sustains every soul and dwells in it substantially, even though it be that of the greatest sinner in the world, and this union is natural. The supernatural union exists when God’s will and the soul’s will are in conformity. Therefore the soul rests transformed in God through love.” – St. John of the Cross